Monday, August 31, 2009

Evo dodges Uribe's bullet

Wheww! That was a close one, but luckly Evo Morales escaped Uribe's evil plan to destroy the South American left by infecting all the UNASUR Presidents with swine flu. Bolivian officials confirm that Morales has not contracted the flu from Uribe at Bariloche. What a sick fucker.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Mystery of Theft

The Mystery of Capital among Amazonian Natives from ILD on Vimeo.

Hey, I know you thought Amerindian poverty had something to do with 500 years of colonial dispossession and genocide but "genius" Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto is going to teach us all September 5th with his new documentary "The Mystery of Capital among Amazonian Natives" that those brown people are poor simply because they have "yet to discover" their inner capitalist (just like us white people!) and need to be liberated from the burden of their oppressive territorial patrimony so its incredible natural wealth can be sold off and pillaged for our -I mean- everyone's benefit.

If only that little amazonian girl knew she was shot through the chest at Bagua for the sake of her bright future under a Petro-Capital Utopia. Silly Indians with their crazy ideas about "respect" for "nature", "culture", and "community". Good thing they found a billionaire Alaska Native (very representative of the most impoverished ethnic group in Alaska and the United States) to tell her fellow brown people about the glories of the White Man's ways.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Evo is a mama's boy

The President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann awarded Evo Morales with the General Assembly's honor of being named "World Hero of the Mother Earth".

The resolution reads "Recognized that the maximum exponent and paradigm of love for Mother Earth is Evo Morales, builder of the new brother plurinational republic of Bolivia and distinguished fighter for true democracy and peace."

When is the last time your country's President got such an honor?

The War on Drugs is a War on People

by James McEnteer, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Can theater succeed where diplomacy has failed? In August, artists from Skid Row Los Angeles teamed with Bolivian actors to perform a play about the War on Drugs throughout Bolivia. Drug issues have strained relations between the United States and Bolivia in recent years. And the “war” against drugs has claimed many victims in both countries. The idea of the tour was to see if the drug war play might stimulate ordinary citizens of the two countries to find common ground and create a more constructive dialog than their governments.
...
As Malpede told a Bolivian audience after one performance: “We work in the poorest part of Los Angeles, where people come when they have no place else to go and end up living in the streets. Our project lives and works in an area affected by drugs. It was the anger of Los Angeles citizens – that the CIA might have been involved in smuggling crack cocaine into the country – that sparked these legislative hearings. These hearings are also a metaphor for all things the U.S. government does all around the world that they shouldn’t, instead of taking care of their own people.”

continue reading...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yawn, Evo wins

Poll after poll Evo leads his challengers by insurmountable odds for the December elections. Inca Kola News goes through the latest Gallup poll, explaining just how lost is the pathetic opposition. Additionally the Andean Information Network does a run through detailing opposition candidates for confused journalists.

However I would like to point out something totally lost, even by western journalists promoting the opposition candidates, the relatively strong position of Samuel Dorian Medina who is consistently leading the pack of oppos.

Medina's position says good things about Bolivian voters and what they want from their politicians (stuff Marinkovic does not understand). While a warmed-over neoliberal politician, Medina has been one of the only opposition figures in Bolivia who has consistently been willing to dialogue and compromise with Evo Morales despite their differences rather than resort to inflexible self-posturing and support for violence. (Funny you haven't heard of Medina in the English language press isn't it?) For this reason much of the rightwing hates Medina with as much passion as Evo. (Funny the English language press always takes sides with the fascists isn't it?) So if you look at the polls, where are the fascists? At the bottom of the barrel. Bolivians want nothing to do with these violent thugs. Get the message journalists.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here is an idea Uribe: democracy

The "authoritarian" Evo Morales has got a neat idea:
If the Colombian president wants his bases to be used, I say I want a referendum in South America so the people of Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina all 12 countries can decide.
So what do you say? Why not let the people of South America decide if they want to be threatened by a massive US military presence in Colombia?

Bolivian kung fu



Frankly impressive. Flying kick during Bolivian soccer brawl.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crazy extremist Arabs in Bolivia say smart things

INK and El Gaviero already have this one, but here goes.

Remember how the wingnuts at Fox News and the CIA were sure Bolivia is teeming with Jihadi terrorists cells just waiting to kill your children. Well it looks like someone had the risky idea of actually talking with those Muslim extremists living in Bolivia (I know, what was he thinking!). The infidel author managed to survive his interview with Mahmud Amer Abusharar without getting beheaded and here is some of what the man who was all about hippy ideas like "open-mindeness" and "peace" had to say:
I never thought that the Islamic Center forms danger to the United States, but who is introducing this idea to the United States public; he must be the one looking to harm the North American people.

We have to be very careful of this cancer. These are the real enemies of the United States. They are trying to show that everyone is an enemy of the United States, it is not true. I have met many Americans in my life and they deserve respect. They teach their sons to tell the truth, but once they read the rubbish of a person like this problems start for the United States… If we have intelligent governments, they will not listen to this rubbish.
And about all those Islamic and Iranian terrorists in Bolivia? Turns out the stuff is simply made up by guys like former Washington Post reporter Douglas Farah. El Gaviero posits a smart question: Now how come Fox News, with its huge budget and global reach, can’t even interview those whom it accuses?

Maybe because they already know they do not want to listen to the response.

And you thought the US press demonized Evo

Peru's newpapers are just a little out of control in their hatred of Evo. From yesterdays daily Peru 21.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Morales Leads Still Undefined Bolivian Presidential Race

Andean Information Network

With less than four months until the December 6th Bolivian presidential elections, the field of candidates is disorganized and constantly shifting. Recent polls indicate that current President Evo Morales will likely be reelected. Although opposition leaders discuss plans to create a “united front” to challenge the incumbent, no viable alternative candidate has emerged, and individuals appear reticent to join coalitions so early in the process. Many candidates have past political experience in or allied with traditional parties. Others continue to seek affiliation with new political groups in an attempt to recreate their identity for skeptical voters. Lack of solid campaign platforms and complaints of funding shortages characterize the election atmosphere, and in many cases unofficial campaigns and contradictory press coverage make it difficult to discern who will eventually run. Opposition candidates considering alliances seem to be united only in their rejection of Morales, instead of any shared vision for governing the nation.

continue reading...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Likely possibility

Why didn't anyone say something?

Wow. Why was everyone so focused on Miss Peru's Diablada dress when they should have been advising Miss Bolivia, Dominique Peltier about her "patriotic(?)" National Costume. No wonder Hugo Chavez rules the world.

Why has Human Rights Watch Fallen Silent on Honduras?

Open letter to Kenneth Roth

August 21, 2009

Kenneth Roth
Executive Director
Human Rights Watch

Dear Mr. Roth,

We are deeply concerned by the absence of statements and reports from your organization over the serious and systematic human rights abuses that have been committed under the Honduran coup regime over the past six weeks. It is disappointing to see that in the weeks since July 8, when Human Rights Watch issued its most recent press release on Honduras, that it has not raised the alarm over the extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detentions, physical assaults, and attacks on the press – many of which have been thoroughly documented - that have occurred in Honduras, in most cases by the coup regime against the supporters of the democratic and constitutional government of Manuel Zelaya. We call on your organization to fulfill your important role as a guardian of universal human rights and condemn, strongly and forcefully, the ongoing abuses being committed by the illegal regime in Honduras. We also ask that you conduct your own investigation of these crimes.

While Human Rights Watch was quick to condemn the illegal coup d’etat of June 28 and the human rights violations that occurred over the following week, which helped shine the spotlight of international media on these abuses, the absence of statements from your organization since the week following the coup has contributed to the failure of international media to report on subsequent abuses.

The coup regime’s violent repression in Honduras has not stopped. Well-respected human rights organizations in Honduras, such as the Committee for the Relatives of the Disappeared Detainees (COFADEH), and international human rights monitors have documented a series of politically-motivated killings, hundreds of arbitrary detentions, the violent repression of unarmed demonstrators, mass arrests of political opposition, and other violations of basic human rights under the coup regime. The killing of anti-coup activists has been documented in press reports, bringing to a total of ten people known or suspected to have been killed in connection to their political activities. Press freedom watchdogs such as Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists have issued releases decrying the regime’s attacks and threats against various journalists and the temporary closure and military occupation of news outlets. Various NGO’s have issued alerts regarding the politically motivated threats to individuals, and concern for people detained by the regime, but no such statements have come from Human Rights Watch.

This situation is all the more tragic in that the coup could easily be overturned, if the Obama administration sought to do so, by taking more decisive measures, such as canceling all U.S. visas and freezing U.S. bank accounts of leaders of the coup regime. Yet not only does the administration continue to prop up the regime with aid money through the Millennium Challenge Account and other sources, but the U.S. continues to train Honduran military students at the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) – the notorious institution formerly known as the School of the Americas. If the coup were overturned, and the democratically elected government restored, it is clear that the many rampant human rights abuses would immediately cease. If Human Rights Watch would raise its voice, it would be much more difficult for the Obama administration to ignore Honduras’ human rights situation and maintain financial and other support for its illegal regime.

We know that there are, sadly, innumerable urgent human rights crises around the world, all of which require your attention. Addressing the deteriorating situation in Honduras, however, is of paramount importance given its potential to serve as a precedent for other coups and the rise of other dictatorships, not just in Honduras, but throughout the region. History has shown that such coups leave deep scars on societies, and that far too often they have led to the rise of some of history’s most notorious rights abusers, such as in Pinochet’s Chile, Videla’s Argentina, and Cedras’ Haiti, to name but two. As human rights defenders with extensive experience in dealing with the appalling human consequences of these regimes, Human Rights Watch is clearly well placed to understand the urgency of condemning the Honduran regime’s abuses and to helping ensure the coup is overturned, that democracy is restored, and that political repression and other human rights abuses are stopped. Your colleagues in the Honduran human rights community are counting on you, as are the Honduran people. We hope you will raise your voice on Honduras.

Sincerely,

Leisy Abrego
University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow
UC Irvine

Paul Almeida
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Texas A&M University

Alejandro Alvarez Béjar
Professor, Economic Faculty
UNAM-Mexico

Tim Anderson
Senior Lecturer in Political Economy
University of Sydney
Australia

Anthony Arnove
Author and Editor
Brooklyn, NY

Marc Becker
Truman State University
Kirksville, MO

Marjorie Becker
Associate professor, Department of History
University of Southern California

John Beverley
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Larry Birns
Director, Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Washington, DC

Jefferson Boyer
Professor of Anthropology (ethnography of Honduras)
Appalachian State University

Jules Boykoff
Associate Professor of Political Science
Pacific University

Edward T. Brett
Professor of History
La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA

Renate Bridenthal
Professor of History, Emerita
Brooklyn College, CUNY

Bob Buzzanco
Professor of History
University of Houston

Aviva Chomsky
Professor of History and Coordinator, Latin American Studies
Salem State College

Noam Chomsky
Professor of Linguistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

James D. Cockcroft
SUNY
Honorary Editor, Latin American Perspectives

Daniel Aldana Cohen
Graduate Student
New York University

Mike Davis
Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing
University of California-Riverside

Pablo Delano
Professor of Fine Arts
Trinity College , Hartford CT

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Professor Emeritus
California State University

Luis Duno-Gottberg
Rice University

Les W. Field
Professor of Anthropology
The University of New Mexico

Dana Frank
Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

Todd Gordon
Department of Political Science
York University, Toronto

Manu Goswami
Department of History
New York University

Jeff Gould
Rudy Professor of History
Indiana University

Greg Grandin
Department of History
New York University

Richard Grossman
Department of History
Northeastern Illinois University

Peter Hallward
Professor of Modern European Philosophy
Middlesex University, UK.

Nora Hamilton
Professor, Political Science
University of Southern California

Jim Handy
Professor of History
University of Saskatchewan

Tom Hayden
Writer

Doug Henwood
Editor and Publisher
Left Business Observer

Eric Hershberg
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, Canada

Kathryn Hicks
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
The University of Memphis

Irene B. Hodgson
Professor of Spanish, Director of the Latin American Studies Minor
Interim Director of the Academic Service Learning Semesters
Xavier University

Forrest Hylton
Assistant Professor of Political Science/Int'l. Relations
Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)

Susanne Jonas
Latin America and Latino Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz

Rosemary A. Joyce
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences, Professor and Chair of Anthropology
University of California , Berkeley

Karen Kampwirth
Knox College

Naomi Klein
Journalist, syndicated columnist and author

Andrew H. Lee
Librarian for History, European Studies, Iberian Studies, & Politics
Bobst Library
New York University

Catherine LeGrand
Associate Professor
Dept. of History, McGill University.

Deborah Levenson
Associate Professor of History
Boston College

Frederick B. Mills
Professor of Philosophy
Bowie State University

Cynthia E. Milton
Chaire de recherche du Canada en histoire de l'Amérique latine
Canada Research Chair in Latin American History, Professeure agregée/Associate Professor, Département d'histoire
Université de Montréal

Lena Mortensen
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
University of Toronto Scarborough

Carole Nagengast
Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico

Robert Naiman
Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy

Marysa Navarro
Charles Collis Professor of History
Dartmouth College

Sharon Erickson Nepstad
Professor of Sociology
University of New Mexico

Mary Nolan
Professor, Department of History
New York University

Elizabeth Oglesby
Assistant Professor
School of Geography and Development
Center for Latin American Studies
University of Arizona

Jocelyn Olcott
Department of History
Duke University

Christian Parenti
Contributing Editor, The Nation
Visiting Scholar
CUNY Graduate Center

Ivette Perfecto
Professor
University of Michigan

Héctor Perla Jr.
Assistant Professor
Latin American and Latino Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz

John Pilger
Journalist and documentary filmmaker

Adrienne Pine
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
American University

Deborah Poole
Professor, Anthropology
Johns Hopkins University

Suyapa Portillo
Pomona College
History Dept.

Vijay Prashad
George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies
Trinity College

Margaret Randall
Feminist poet, writer, photographer and social activist

Marcus Rediker
Professor and Chair in the Department of History
University of Pittsburgh

Gerardo Renique
Associate Professor, Department of History
City College of the City University of New York

Ken Roberts
Professor, Department of Government
Cornell University

Nancy Romer
Professor of Psychology
Brooklyn College
City University of New York

Seth Sandronsky
U.S. journalist

Aaron Schneider
Assistant Professor
Political Science
Tulane University

Rebecca Schreiber
Associate Professor, American Studies Department
University of New Mexico

Ernesto Seman
Journalist

Richard Stahler-Sholk
Professor, Department of Political Science
Eastern Michigan University

Julie Stewart
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Assistant Investigator, Institute of Public and International Affairs
University of Utah

Sylvia N. Tesh
Lecturer, Latin American Studies
University of Arizona.

Miguel Tinker Salas
Professor of History
Pomona College

Mayo C. Toruño
Professor of Economics
California State University, San Bernardino

Sheila R. Tully
San Francisco State University

John Vandermeer
Asa Gray Distinguished University Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan

Jocelyn S. Viterna
Assistant Professor
Departments of Sociology and Social Studies Harvard University

Steven S. Volk
Professor, Department of History
Director, Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (CTIE)
Oberlin College

Maurice L. Wade
Professor of Philosophy, International Studies, and Graduate Public Policy Studies
Trinity College

Shannon Drysdale Walsh
Fulbright-Hays Fellow
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

Jeffery R. Webber
Assistant Professor, Political Science
University of Regina, Canada

Barbara Weinstein
Professor, Department of History
New York University

Mark Weisbrot
Co-Director
Center for Economic and Policy Research

Gregory Wilpert
Adjunct Professor of Political Science
Brooklyn College

Sonja Wolf
Institute of Social Research
National Autonomous University of Mexico

John Womack, Jr.
Professor of History, Emeritus
Harvard University

Elisabeth Wood
Professor of Political Science
Yale University

Richard L. Wood
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of New Mexico

Marilyn B. Young
Professor of History
New York University

Marc Zimmerman
Modern and Classical Languages
University of Houston

[1] [1] Human Rights Watch, “Honduras: Evidence Suggests Soldiers Shot Into Unarmed Crowd.” July 8, 2009. Found at http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/07/08/honduras-evidence-suggests-soldiers-shot-unarmed-crowd.
[2] Human Rights Watch, “Honduras: Military Coup a Blow to Democracy.” June 28, 2009. Found at http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/06/28/honduras-military-coup-blow-democracy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The press catching on to its own stupidity

Foreign Policy magazine is feeling a bit liberated by this whole blogging thing and politely pointing out the absurdity of Jonathan Franklin's article in The Guardian which claims that gringo cocaine tourism in Bolivia is fueled by "the national example of President Evo Morales, himself a coca grower". It never really occurred to him that the Route 36 cocaine bar in La Paz operates in secret and constantly changes locations because cocaine is highly illegal in Bolivia, as demonstrated by the national example of doubling cocaine seizures under the Morales administration explicit policy "coca yes, cocaine no".

However if you read the Washington Post and their stupid graphs Bolivia's increased coke seizures are a sign of booming narcotics trade under Morales because the trustworthy DEA says so. I guess the DEA is a good authority on the matter considering they were booted out of Bolivia partly for trafficking coke. But don't expect to read about it in the US anytime soon.

Maybe if all journalists actually fact checked eachother on blogs we could get some decent information on Latin America?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Amazonians prove civilized people are lazy

The miracles of modern science have made another breakthrough. It turns out that people in the Bolivian Amazon who are active all day, fishing, walking around, and whatever else you need to do to live in the Amazon do not get heart disease and other ailments associated with being a fat "civilized" person.

Maybe it is time the Amazonians made a study of us.

John Enders' stupidity strikes again

There be brown people down here.

Our dumbass blue-eyed whitey friend John Enders has written another article on Bolivia and Morales... Yes, really. It gets ugly.

Before I launch into this I really need to tell Enders: you are stupid. It is only my opinion, but I have seen some bad journalists before and you are near the top of the list. You know nothing about Bolivia and have learned nothing from the time you have spent there. Seriously, stop this nonsense. Pack your bags and go home. You are not like Simon Romero, a potentially good journalist who simply lies constantly to serve his biases. You are ignorant. A little white boy in a big, big, bad, complicated world.

Nothing serves to demonstrate this point more than his most recent spelling mistake: spelling Quechua as Quetchua. Inca Kola News gives him a good spanking for it. But seriously, who does this? I have never seen such a spelling used.

The article's substantive aspects are of the same quality. Let's investigate.

Enders' is baffled by this idea of having public servants actually speak the same language as the populations they are supposed to serve. Yeah, even those funny native languages the little brown people speak.

Enders warns of Morales' Communist plot against honest businessmen, "Bolivia's new constitution... nationalizes resources and idle land giving rise to increased conflicts with private mine owners, farmers and ranchers.".

Of course Enders will never read the new constitution so let's explain. Only certain nonrenewable natural resources are put under exclusive state control while idle lands are subject to state reversion for redistribution. Also Enders forgot to mention that the most contentious land seizers were from ranchers using indigenous SLAVE labor, a little something also outlawed by the constitution.

Next in the section covering the political opposition, which he humorously labels "large" (they weren't so large when the new constitution passed by 60%), Enders shamelessly propagates racist attitudes towards Bolivia's indigenous peoples.
Critics say the government is pitting racial groups against each another and encouraging its indigenous followers to hate the mestizos and whites.
Enders' evidence for such Indian savagery: Oscar Montes, the conservative mayor of Tarija, "There will come a time when no one will be able to control them". In case you are confused on how to read Montes' statement, "them" refers to Indians. Those damn Indians have gotten out of control. Circle the wagons!

That new constitution even allows indigenous communities to govern themselves! Enders must be friends with Chris Kraul because they both propagate the same racist bullshit that indigenous justice = lynching.

And even more "controversial" the new constitution lets Presidents be reelected for a second term! And the Congress has the power to amend the constitution. It's like that US high school civics class Enders' failed all over again!

So again John Enders, please stop. You are an idiot. Let me make it clearer this time:

Shut The Fuck Up

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Unclear" terrorism targets campesino leader

The wife of national campesino leader Fidel Sucro, Arminda Colque, was severely injured by a letter bomb addressed to her husband. Six others were injured by the blast as well as from a second letter bomb. Sucro is head of the umbrella social movements organization Conalcam.

The Associated Press in its awefulness stated, "It was unclear what may have motivated the Wednesday attacks". It might have been clearer if they had maybe listened to what was said of the attack by those targeted.

Fidel Sucro stated, "The attacks are the begining of a dirty war against the process of change. It is a dirty war with the intention of terrorizing the government and and social movements in the begining of the campaign for the general elections in December."

From the Latin American Herald Tribune:
The attack was staged by “a new terrorism network” linked to Bolivian-born Croatian citizen Eduardo Rosza Flores, who was killed in an April 16 police operation, Sen. Felix Rojas said.
The same neonazi terrorists are suspected in the brutal murder of Evo Morales' aunt.

If you are wondering why the rightwing opposition would resort to terrorism in order to compete in general elections the consevative Bolivian intellectual Jorge Lazarte might give a good anwser. Lazarte, a prominent neoliberal intellectuals and now discredited as a compulsive liar, recently complained about the hopelessly fragmented opposition- doomed in the December elections. He stated bluntly that they have no alternative political or social project for the country.

But they still have money and violent friends.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Peru: Battle for the Amazon





I should add the narrator makes several factually inacurrate statements concerning details of the confrontation leading to the Bagua massacre, but the report deals comprehensively with all the issues concerning the present fight over the Amazon.

Obama’s Bolivia ATPDEA Decision: Blast from the Past or Wave of the Future?

Interesting fact you can learn from this piece: Bolivia erradicated more hectares of coca production on average under Morales between 2006 to 2008 than was previously erradicated on average under neoliberal governments between 1993 to 1997.
From the Andean Information Network and the Washington Office on Latin America

At April’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear their intention to repair frayed U.S. relations with Latin America. In May, building on momentum from the Summit, the U.S. and Bolivian governments initiated a high-level dialogue in La Paz aimed at establishing the framework for a mutually respectful relationship. But President Obama clouded the hopeful outlook at the end of June when he opted to maintain Bolivia’s suspension from Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) trade benefits – a suspension initiated in 2008 by President Bush, on the false grounds that Bolivia was shirking its international drug control obligations.

continue reading...

A “separatist” journalism grows in Bolivia

By Wilson García Mérida, Translated by Scott Campbell

(Datos & Análisis).- The Psychological Operations Command of the Pentagon, which operates in Venezuela through a mercenary communications firm tied to the CIA, is expanding its actions in Bolivia. Proofs of this are the recent media attacks suffered by libertarian journalist Walter Chávez, whose presence in the last meeting of Evo Morales’ cabinet caused an insipid national scandal. With the same bad intentions, this emerging separatist journalism continues making apologies for the frustrated attempts at Balkanization by mercenary Eduardo Rozsa and cynically spreading misinformation about the undeniable advances of the agrarian revolution in Pando.

continue reading...

More of the same in Latin America

Mark Weisbrot

There were great hopes in Latin America when President Obama was elected. U.S. standing in the region had reached a low point under George W. Bush, and all of the left governments expressed optimism that Obama would take Washington’s policy in a new direction.

These hopes have been dashed. President Obama has continued the Bush policies and in some cases has done worse.

continue reading...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yesh' sir Uncle Tom

Obama spilled some real idiocy the other day about Honduras and how pro-democracy, pro-Zelaya critics of US policy are "hypocritical".
The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways…If these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is, is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to US-Latin America relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration’s policies.
First of all, this statement assumes the US is currently not involved in Honduras and that the military coup is not supported by powerful interests in the United States, which of course it is. Believing otherwise would require total ignorance of the modern history of US involvement in Latin America. Someone needs to read their copy of The Open Veins of Latin America.

Second, when we say "the Yankees need to get out of Latin America" the prejorative yankuí is specifically used, that is the "ugly American". I am a gringo living happily in Latin America and no one has ever told me to go home, but I also don't go around overthrowing democratic constitutions, training mass murders, or giving covert support to fascists. Maybe, just maybe if you respected your neighbors democracies, they wouldn't mind inviting you over now and again.

Third, if we are "hypocrites" then so is US Law which requires the United States to cease economic and political relations with countries after a military coup, but of course the United States is the only government in the world which has refused to label the "defacto government" a military coup.

Lastly, remember that the "hypocritcal critics" Obama is refering to does not just include me and my unwashed hippy friends, those critics include President Zelaya himself and nearly every other government in Latin America, including Brazil- remember, the gaint of the south.

Read a book dumbass.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Prisoners of a White God



While this documentary is exclusively on the Akha mountain people of Southeast Asia it depicts the same threats faced by indigenous peoples in Bolivia, South America or anywhere in the world from missonaries, development, the war on drugs, tourism, diseases, "non-profit" organizations, and finally what happens when you challange "progress". (Big Hat Tip to The Angry Indian)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Lanny Davis traincrash

Debate on Honduras: Fmr. Clinton Lawyer Lanny Davis, Lobbyist for Honduras Business Leaders vs. NYU Historian Greg Grandin



Good God. Watch Lanny Davis crash and burn. Epic.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bolivia para todos



To reflect on where Bolivia is coming from and going on this August 6th, National Independence Day.

Note to Hillary Clinton

Actions speak loader than words.

If as she stated in the congratulatory note on Bolivian Independence Day, "the United States’ commitment to be a good partner in Bolivia’s journey to a more just, democratic, and prosperous future." I would suggest the US start actually acting like a partner. People might then actually start believing what you have to say if you do. It's pretty simple really.

Side note: Does anyone else think Hillary pops pills? She just has that look, no?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Zelaya speaks out

US can end Honduras crisis in seconds

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The United States can end the political crisis in Honduras in a few seconds and kick out politicians who led a coup in June, deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said on Tuesday.

"Honduras, despite what the coup leaders say, does not depend on Caracas. Honduras depends on Washington," Zelaya told CNN en Espanol in an interview.

continue reading...

Thinking Left in Bolivia

Linda Farthing interview with Alvaro Linera.

Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera first became passionate about politics during the widespread resistance to the Hugo Banzer dictatorship in 1979. Soon after, he left Bolivia to train as a mathematician at Mexico's National Autonomous University, where he was active in the Central American solidarity Movement. Drawn to sociology, he began reading everything he could in an effort to analyze the situation of Bolivia's indigenous majority population from a Marxist perspective. In García Linera's intellectual life, political questions have always been the most important.

continue reading...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

John Enders finds Indians a surprising curiosity

Guess what the the dumbass blue-eyed whitey racist-apologist reporter John Enders discovered on his latest voyage to Bolivia?

It turns out these "Indians" have individual opinions and sometimes even disagree with one another. Rumor has it they might even have souls. In the country whose population is 60% indigenous, Injun President Evo Morales looks to face at least four other Indians in the December election. Wierd. It is almost like this country Bolivia is a pluralistic democracy or something.

However if you think this latest revelation in Enders' little world might result in some decent reporting or even an end to racist-apologism you will sadly be mistaken.

In typical fashion Enders starts the piece quoting uncle tom Sabina Cuellar's nonsensical ranting about what a nasty fellow Morales is, "He (Morales) hasn't respected the Constitution. He hasn't respected the laws," without noting that Cuellar's supporters are avowed fascists who beat indigenous people on sight and are facing criminal prosecution for their violent acts. Poor Enders is not alone in his denial, you know, it is not like there is film or a documentary on such racist incidents... But what should you expect from a man who euphamistically calls the coup mongering fascist seperatists "irate" "conservative critics in the resource-rich eastern lowlands".

Continuing Enders lists Morales' possible indigenous opponents, who comprise a wide range of political opinion from left to right, and proceeds to ascribe the same criticisms of Morales to all, "These politicians say...", "They are also angry that...". Enders, seriously, you don't know what the fuck you are talking about, so just don't. It's stupid. Let me explain in a simple way you will understand. Those trying to position themselves on the Left of Evo, like Rene Joaquino and Roman Loayza, agrue that Morales has not followed through with enough radical policies, while those on the Right, like Alejo Velez and Victor Cardenas, claim Morales has gone too far with a radical agenda.

Humorously Enders adds, "Neither Morales nor any of his senior ministers responded to repeated requests for interviews for this story." Yeah, that is because those Indians have the internet also, can background search on who you are as well, and decide your yellow-press dumbass is not worth their time. That you would uncritically spread false accusations like "Morales favors Aymaras over other indigenous groups, and argues the new Constitution is dividing the country's disparate groups." from Alejo Velez, lapdog to corrupt ousted Prefect Manfred Reyes.

Or that you would claim Morales' supporters principally seek to gain two-thirds of Congress to amend the constitution to grant Evo a third term as opposed to reversing the 160 odd compromises they made with the racist golpista opposition for the text's peaceful passage through Congress.

Or that you would uncritically pass off Victor Cardenas' accusations of a corrupt voter system, with "700,000 suspect voter registrations". Of course you failed to mention such "suspect voter registrations" largely refer to administrative errors such as voters with the same name that according to the same Electoral Court President you quoted, Jose Luis Exeni, "that this is not an anomaly and does not effect the election as the opposition suspects, since it deals with different people who vote in different precincts."

Not surprisingly Enders advances the outlandish idea that Cardenas and Cuellar would make for the "strongest ticket" to challenge Morales. You have already made a fool of yourself Enders. Why do you choose to make it worse? Is this your idea of a bad joke. Both Cardenas and Cuellar are rejected by the overwhelming majority of indigenous Bolivians as sell-outs to neoliberal and racist politicians. Morales won't have to "demonize" them as you quote, because these two have already done the work for him. You could not have thought of a worse ticket. Seriously, you are stupid.

Then to finish off an already terrible article Enders reminds us just how small his little blue-eyed whitey world really is by giving us a 19th century ethnography lesson on the idiosyncracies of Bolivia's indigenous peoples.
The two largest groups are the Quechuas, who speak the language of the ancient Incas, and the Aymaras, who have maintained a separate culture for hundreds of years. The third-largest group - the Guarani - live in the southeastern lowland region and are not a political force.
Where did you find this stuff, a 1991 copy of Let's Go Bolivia?

So because you did not listen the first time, here it is again. Please, it is for your own good.

"Post-racial" USA

I think Obama ought to listen to Evo more often. The guy knows something about these things.

Obama Faces 30 Death Threats a Day

Democracy Now!

A new book on the history of the Secret Service reports the rate of threats against the President has increased 400 percent since President Obama took office in January as the nation’s first African American president. According to author Ronald Kessler, Obama is the target of more than thirty potential death threats a day. Most of the threats have been kept under wraps, because the Secret Service fears that revealing details of them would only increase the number of copycat attempts.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Otto Reich and the Honduran Coup d'etat

Machetera

The very same day that the coup d’etat in Honduras began, in an emergency session of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C., Roy Chaderton, the Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS, spoke with a simmering fury as he looked directly at Hector Morales, the U.S. Ambassador to the OAS.

“There’s a person who’s been very important within U.S. diplomacy, one who has re-connected with old friends and colleagues and helped encourage the coup perpetrators,” he said.

“The gentleman’s name is Otto Reich...

Continue reading part 1...


Part 2

Who is reporting on Bolivia's strong economy?

The Chinese. No, this is not just an Onion News joke, you are in serious shit whitey.

The blogosphere is no longer alone, from Xinhua, "The deficits of last year do not exist now. It appears that we [Bolivia] could teach the world a lesson about how to handle a crisis,"

It is Yu Wan Mei fish product time! Yummy.

Oh no you did't: Bolivia-Peru beauty queen cat-fight!

Forget about granting "political asylum" for genocidal ex-government ministers, the real dispute these days between Bolivia and Peru is over who stole whose prom dress, bitch.

You see that hideous outfit Miss Peru is sporting for the Miss Universe competition, well Marsha told Beth who told me that Bolivia's Culture Minister was all like, "That's my dress bitch! Don't you dare come all up trying to steal my cultural patromony. That Diablada outfit is from Oruro, skank!"

And Peru was like, "Who you calling skank, whore! It was my dress first. My Diablada costume is from Puno, so don't even."

Hence Bolivian-Peruvian diplomatic relations remain at a stand still. Of course lost in the tabliods is the delicate cultural question, 'Why is Miss Peru named Karen Schwarz? and why is she wearing a traditionally male Diablada costume?'

Disinformation in The Economist

Francisco Dominguez

In its July 18, 2009 edition, The Economist article on Bolivia (”Bolivia’s divisive president. The Permanent Campaign,” July 18) asserted, “Venezuelan troops helped quell a rebellion centred on the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007.” The article did not bother to substantiate such a serious charge against Venezuela and is buried as one of several unjustified and unsubstantiated allegations against the president and government of Bolivia.

The piece “Bolivia’s divisive president. The Permanent Campaign” does not even pretend to be ‘even-handed’ or ‘balanced.’ Some of the statements in it are simply unalloyed anti-Morales propaganda....

Continue reading...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Hungarian terrorists in Bolivia

Hungarian Spectrum

Here and there one can still read in Hungarian papers about Előd Tóásó, one of the companions of Eduardo Rózsa-Flores currently awaiting trial in a Bolivian jail, but the intense interest in the alleged terrorist's past and eventual fate has subsided in the Hungarian media. However, in the last couple of days two articles appeared in Népszabadság (July 23 and July 24) about the alleged Bolivian-Hungarian terrorist Rózsa-Flores. The first was inspired by the utterances and writings of a Spanish newspaperman, Julio César Alonso, who came to know Rózsa-Flores in Tirana some fifteen years ago during "the first revolution" in Albania when Rózsa-Flores was working for the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. Alonso claims that Rózsa-Flores was a "psychopath" who went to Bolivia to foment a civil war. His assertions support the contentions of Evo Morales's government. But since Rózsa-Flores is dead most likely we will never know what he had in mind. We do know, however, that in Hungary he was involved with extreme rightist elements.

continue reading...